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Alessandra Aloisi
Alessandra Aloisi

Alessandra Aloisi

(JHU)

I was born and raised in Bologna, Italy. From the time I was a child, and later as a teenager, I wanted to travel and discover the world. I chose to learn languages in high-school (a wise decision), and I was willing to become a flight-attendant to see the world... but my love for and predisposition to scientific matters led me on a different path. The great example and encouragement I received from my female mathematics and physics teacher convinced me that I could succeed in a scientific field, even if I was a woman, if I really wanted.

I decided to attend the University, picking up the first scientific course I found exotic enough to invest my future in: not mathematics or physics, but astronomy. I approached my astronomical studies without a clear idea of the reasons why, but with the illusion of getting a philosophical point of view of the universe. I quickly found out that astronomy means methodology, objective results and rationality, but without taking space to creativity and invention. My travel towards the knowledge of the universe had started, making true my childhood dream of discovering the unknown.

I received a "laurea" degree in astronomy in 1994 and a Ph.D. in astronomy in 1999 from Bologna University. I landed in the USA, more precisely in Baltimore, immediately afterwards. I ended up working first as a postdoc at Space Telescope Science Institute, and later as Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University, where I am currently employed.

Since the beginning of my astronomical career, I have always been working on star-forming galaxies both from the theoretical and observational point of view. I am mostly involved in the interpretation of their stellar and metal content, star-formation history and evolution. The wonderful HST images I have had the fortune of working with since the beginning of my astronomical journey, have strengthened the conviction in me that I did not choose this professional field by chance: the love for astronomy has always been inside me as a strong desire to discover knew worlds and understand the reasons for their existence.